king of rings

8

Ladies and gentlemen, some of the 100000 reasons why I will love the Lord of the Rings movies and the cast till the end of times.

  • Aragorn: I never understood why people cared so much about their dumb hobbits until I got dumb hobbits myself. I've only had Frodo and Sam for a day and a half, but if anything happened to them, I would kill everyone in this room and then myself.
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A deleted song from Lord of the Rings

This song, Use Well the Days, was written for the ROTK end credits. You won’t find it anywhere in the soundtrack- It was cut after Into the West took its place. (this recording may not be the “final draft” of the song, either.) Just like Into the West, it was composed by Howard Shore and sung by Annie Lennox, with lyrics by Fran Walsh.

Use Well the Days is about Frodo bidding his final farewell to Sam…. thanking him, blessing him, and hoping the rest of his life in Middle Earth will be happy and peaceful. 

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Gandalf did you realise that the transition from ranger to King of Gondor was a PRETTY FREAKING BIG ONE

EDIT: guys please stop leaving snide comments trying to educate me on whether or not he was ready, this was just a bit of fun, sheesh. Can’t believe I actually had to say that)

guys, we need to talk about eowyn

So I get really narky when people pull the whole ‘oh Eowyn’s storyline came to such a sucky ending; she was really cool going around killing orcs and Witch-Kings and then she got shoved into a traditional girly role by marrying Faramir and becoming a healer’ thing, because no. No-no-no-no-no. Not only does that stray dangerously into the territory of ‘women only have worth if they’re doing traditionally blokey things’, but that misses almost the entire point of Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien was in the trenches in the first world war, right? He got all that ‘for death and glory’ shit shoved down his throat, that was the whole point about the war, it was when so many people came to see how awful and misleading all the propaganda about winning glory through violence and death was. And Tolkien’s work completely shows that: it’s why the hobbits, who’ve never craved power or battle the way men do, are the heroes of the book; it’s why strong men like Aragorn and Faramir are shown to be lovers of peace rather than war. It’s why the quote - but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory; I love only that which they defend – is so poignant and beautiful, when seen in the context of all Tolkien had gone through. He’d seen all but one of his closest friends die in an utterly pointless war; the prevalent message in his books is ‘if you’re going to have that many people die, let it be for something worth dying for.’ (Like defending your home from the lord of all darkness, for example.)

And Eowyn might be a fantastic female character, but she’s also got so much development to go through, and she’s by no means perfect. I find it really interesting that when Eowyn talks to Aragorn about wanting to go off and fight she never really actually mentions protecting her people, but speaks about wanting to ‘face peril and battle’, and to do ‘great deeds’. And it’s not that Eowyn doesn’t want to protect her people, because of course she does, but she’s also got such a driving motivation within her to do glorious and fell deeds simply for the sake of valour and renown. It’s one of her defining features, having an attitude that got so many young men killed in the war and which, obviously, Tolkien would have been very wary of.

(Also, I think, there’s so much in Eowyn that wants to prove herself to be more than ‘a mere woman’; because twice in that conversation she asserts that she’s no mere ‘dry-nurse’ or ‘serving-woman’, but a member of the house of Eorl and therefore capable of greater things. There’s almost this slight sense of Eowyn considering herself more than ‘just’ a domesticated woman that I sometimes get from her in the books? Which is very sad - the idea of Eowyn having less regard for others of her sex who do mind the house or raise the children - and why I so love that ‘I am no man’ moment in RotK. Eowyn’s no longer hiding herself, or dismissing fellow women as the weaker sex, but acknowledging and embracing the fact that women in all their forms can fuck you up.)

And then we reach the Houses of Healing, and Eowyn yearning for death in battle just like her Uncle Theoden, and basically buying into that whole world war one ethos that Tolkien would have considered so poisonous. Which is why her friendship and courtship with Faramir is so fricking beautiful. Remember that quote I wrote earlier? That’s from Faramir. He’s not backing down from conflict, he’s in no way less of a ‘real man’ than anyone else; he’s just saying there needs to be more to the fight than simply having a fight. There needs to be a reason; something worth fighting for. Eowyn recognises that Faramir is a good man in every sense of the word: he’s strong and valiant, but he doesn’t fight simply to prove himself or for the sake of winning glory, he fights for other people. And Faramir gently challenges Eowyn on her idolisation of battle-glory and encourages her not to scorn gentleness or peace, and he’s so freaking good for her.

(Seriously. Can we just stop for a moment and think about how wonderful Eowyn and Faramir are for each other: Faramir encouraging Eowyn to turn towards life and healing and openness while never denying her strength or courage, and Eowyn giving Faramir the validation and security he never got after so many years of an awful relationship with his father? I honestly don’t know why I don’t get all giddy about these two more often, because they make the very best otp.)

And the result of the departure of the Shadow and her friendship with Faramir is Eowyn’s decision that ‘I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’

I think that last bit is so important because I’m certain that Tolkien doesn’t mean for Eowyn to immediately pack up her sword and shield and become a good girl sitting at home with her knitting and waiting for the men to return home after the fight – after all, she’s going to be the wife of the Steward of Gondor and there’s a lot of mess to clean up after the War of the Ring. Eowyn’s probably still going to find herself defending hearth and home from time to time. But the important thing is that she’s no longer defining herself simply by the doing of valiant deeds; she’ll no longer compare herself to the great warriors of her house and feel lacking simply because she hasn’t killed as many men. Most importantly, she’s not going to take joy only in the songs of the slaying, in destruction and death. Tolkien was all about healers symbolising life and rebirth, and Eowyn’s decision to become one – to aid in the preservation of life rather than the taking of it – is so beautiful. I don’t think Tolkien ever wrote Eowyn’s ending to make her reclaim her ‘lost femininity’; I think it’s a lovely way of adding to the ever-present theme in Lord of the Rings of hope and frailty and healing and friendship over glory and battle and strife.

Hey there everyone! WHOO! Finally got a reprieve, as I’m done with my drawings for my final project, now I have to continue typing the written parts.

Done largely in part because I love the lore, practice drawing human characters, and to pass the time whenever I need a breather from from college.

While researching for the lore of Dark Souls for my In-progress AU Comic, I noticed how LARGE the mythology of Dark Souls and the deities that reside, along with the fan speculation of which god corresponds with whom and etc. In spite of all this, from what I can tell, outside of Gwyn’s family, there has never been a, for lack of a better term, “compendium piece” of the gods and goddesses of dark souls, so I made my own :D

Because some gods are not represented in imagery, I decided to design how they might look if they ever showed up amongst mortals. I owe a lot to Tumblr, Reddit and the DS fandom as a whole, the amount of theory and lore discussions are always gold, and of course, the lore-lords like @vaatividya and @silver-mont, their vids are always interesting to watch :)

From the Top Row: The Bearers of the Lord Souls

Gravelord Nito: No need for an explanation here xD

Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight: Drawing him was easy, but here I wanted portray a very stern, no-nonsense god king who really, REALLY is someone you don’t want to piss off, and someone who is almost NEVER happy and/or satisfied.

The Witch of Izalith: I’m honestly surprised there’s not much fanart of how her face might look like, so I pitched in. She basically resembles her daughters, but with a more matriarchal vibe, with a stronger jawline and sharper eyes to reflect that. She’s also very tall, towering over Gwyn and just slightly edging out NK in height.

The Furtive Pygmies, featuring Manus and a Pygmy Lord: With the Ringed City revealing that there were SEVERAL pygmies, I had quite some fun with the speculation and possibilities of how the Pygmies as a whole looked like.

Personally? I simply interpret them as humans but more, with more power over the dark soul, but otherwise having different roles in society like regular folk, the Ringed Knights are Warriors, the Lords are the rulers, etc.

I put Manus amongst them, why? Because no way should ONE man be able to have THAT much abyss power just because he’s a human. Since the dark soul is divided amongst humans, I interpret him having a huge chunk of the Dark Soul (as per these two threads), and thus was simply a mighty sorceror who happened to be really, REALLY old, even by Pygmy standards. Plus I always wondered… How does one torture a dead man? The Mad King was described as undying, so according to my own logic, he wasn’t totally “dead” when he was buried. His grave could signify him wanting a modicum of peace, after all, his entire race was basically put in a glorified prison by Gwyn… Sensing the growing madness within him (probably due to sheer isolation), he probably decided to “die” on his own terms in Oolacile… then future idiots proceeded to listen to TOTALLY NOT SUSPICIOUS AT ALL SERPENT and dug up his grave.

The random Pygmy Lord is basically representing one of the first Pygmy Lords.


Second Row: The Children of the Gods

The Nameless King, Firstborn of Gwyn, God of War: In a short period of time, has become my favorite character amongst the gods… There’s so much of a story to tell from him, his relationship with his family, the reasons as to WHY he betrayed the dragons, and thanks to lore threads a-plenty, I interpret him as one of the most honorable and dedicated of the gods. He watches over his warriors of sunlight even if they ARE humans (whom Gwyn HATES) AND he protects Dragons. Despite meI head-canoning him bigger than Gwyn and is in general a wall of muscle and armor, he’s STILL shorter than his sisters.

Gwynevere, Goddess of Fertility: Gwynevere here I interpret as one of the nicer gods, so I made her expression to reflect such. Because Gwyndolin’s illusion of her may be simply him projecting what he remembers most of her and thus potentially exaggerating certain aspects, I toned down a lot the “Aphrodite-esque” glamor, in favor of a more personable look, though still decked out.

Filianore: The daughter we know even less of than Gwynevere, but thanks to a certain reddit thread that discussed how dedicated NK was to her via the floral carvings that is present in Archdragon peak… She must have been someone who NK was VERY close with, so I interpret her as the “Always trying to bring life to the family” kind of sister, though closest to her eldest brother.

Gwyndolin: The Dark Sun himself. Not much else to say here, I just wanted to draw him happy for once… Because WHY FROM? He really, really needs it.


The Daughters of Chaos

Quelana, Mother of Pyromancy: Due to her own title, I interpret her as the Studious Daughter, incredibly dedicated to her craft and always finding out ways to further her pyromancy… Until the Chaos Flame incident happened of course… Then she became wracked with survivor’s guilt…

I also interpret her as being the responsible one looking out to make sure her sisters don’t do anything too brash… Though in hindsight, that would make her suvivor’s guilt worse.

Quelaag: The most well known Chaos Daughter, and whom I interpret as The Aggressive Daughter, hence why she’s the only one of the sisters with a melee weapon. As the most in-your-face daughter I head-canon that she is the one who lowers down her hood the most, especially when she feels like challenging someone. Also VERY protective of her family.

Quelaan, The Fair Lady: Last but not least, I interpret Quelaan as always having been the shyest and nicest of the daughters. Her hood is more drooped down compared to Quelana, to highlight her shyness.

Fun fact, while trying to find her real name, turns out the name Quelaan was the name the community gave to her, and just became established fanon, so I just opted to name her just that.


Third Row: Other Members of the Larger Pantheon

All-Father Lloyd: Gwyn’s uncle, founder of the Way of White. Now there IS speculation that he’s not real, but here I interpret as the real deal, and thus looks like a wimpier, older version of Gwyn, yet still has an aura of authority. I used a bit of Paladin Leeroy for his crown, because I interpret that, when he REALLY needs to get his hands dirty, he too wields a mace, setting an example to all paladin-esque worshipers after him.

His clothes are tattered despite being the godly equivalent of a pontiff, to highlight two things:

One, despite him being a “lord”, his tattered look is to signify he is not “above” the rabble/his followers.

Two, I head-canon him becoming slowly more insane and full of hate toward the undead,as more and more of his family and friends either dies off or leaving home… He eventually disappears for unknown reasons and becomes forgotten.

Fina, Goddess of Love: The most popular candidate for Gwyn’s wife, or at least his first, I wanted to design her with the Embraced Set in mind, just modified to look more queenly rather than armor. Going by the general fanon, I interpret her as the mother of both NK and Gwynevere, but due to unknown circumstances, just up-and-left. Why? I dunno I haven’t thought that deep :(

Also wanted to try out and giving her a different look, skin-tone and facial wise compared to all the other gods and goddesses out there.

Velka, Goddess of Sin: My favorite goddess, her lore and weaponry associated with her is cool, but even with DS3 and all its DLC, I wish we got to know more of her and how she even became the one to hold the title of “goddess of sin” and how she absolves it. She is also, I noticed in fan-art and fanfic, the other most popular candidate for Gwyn’s wife.

Due to the fact that both Gwyndolin and Filianore are associated with illusions and magic, I interpret her as the mother of Filianore and Gwyndolin. She has sharp features and very pale skin, and share’s Filianore’s dark hair.

For her design, I compared aspects of the Statue of Velka from DS3, and both Oswald of Carim and Cromwell the pardoner. I didn’t want her to strictly dress like Oswald and Cromwell, so I incorporated more feathers to her outfit to give her a more “regal” look, as befitting a goddess, and not just pardoner. Funnily enough, with her book of sins and outfit, she also gives the aura of a medieval judge.

Caitha, Goddess of Tears: The third goddess associated with Carim, and one that I intentionally kept her eyes hidden. Mentioned in both 2 and 3, I want to reflect her constant “mourning” nature, and since ‘Gentle Prayer’ is associated with her chime in DS3, I thought her being in a position of prayer would be most appropriate.

Nahr Alma, God of Blood and Murder: Take Titchy Gren, make him more beast-like in proportion, now make him the size of Father Ariandel with the animalistic agility of the Orphan of Kos or Slave Knight Gael, and you have the God of Blood himself. I interpret him as a kind of god that is shunned by the rest, and is mostly treated as an attack dog, and nothing more. REALLY resents the other gods.